Ms. Marni Pyke's excellent article on the reasons behind high Chicago gas costs nevertheless missed one of the important reasons why I paid $3.59 a gallon in South Beloit, Ill., recently, about 70 cents a gallon less than I'm paying in this area. It may not be politically correct to say so, and might get her in trouble at the newspaper, so I don't blame her for not mentioning it, but every transaction in Cook County is subject to a hidden political corruption and crime tax. Every time a citizen buys gas or food or anything else, the cost is higher because of higher taxes that go into the pockets of politically favored groups who deliver the votes into the pockets of political cronies and relatives, into politically padded payrolls and into outright corruption.
There is also a surcharge to fund programs for people who do not pull their own weight economically. And there is a crime tax, as crime not only increases public budgets, but increases the cost of doing business here, a cost that has to be passed on to consumers. Every robbery, mugging and murder in Chicago has a direct impact on your wallet.
My only tip for saving money is for productive people to vote with their feet and flee the area. I have just announced my retirement as of Nov. 30, due to declining health from pulmonary fibrosis, which, as you doubtless know, kills more people than breast cancer every year. After Dec. 1, I expect that I will never spend another penny in Crook County.
Robert A. Hall
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